Forty Years of Abortion

Thoughts on the San Francisco Walk For Life


January 30, 2013 - San Francisco, CA - - This year, 2013, marks forty years of the infant holocaust in the United States. As in every year since then, January 23, marks the Pro Life Movement’s memorialization of the 1973 Roe v Wade Supreme Court Decision legalizing the performance of abortion for all nine months of pregnancy.

In the Bible the number 40 has great significance, especially in regards to chastisement. We recall the 40 years that the Jews wandered in the desert. We recall the story of Noah and the Ark in which it rained for 40 days and 40 nights. We have 40 days of Lent before we can enjoy Easter. In all these stories, following the end of the chastisement there was salvation, joy, lives and souls redeemed.

Washington, D.C. has 40 times been the scene of the gatherings of thousands to call for an end to abortion. Close to 500,000 this year. This January 26th, San Francisco was the scene of 40,000 people, some from as far away as New Mexico, attending its 7th Roe v Wade Anniversary event.

San Francisco’s new Archbishop, Salvatore Cordileone, opened the Walk with prayer and Archbishop and Papal Nuncio Carlos Maria Vigano, Rome’s Ambassador to the United States, carried a special blessing and message of encouragement from the Pope. The Nuncio, reading from the Pope’s message stated that “You are the best of the U.S.A.” The Pope’s message reminded us that “every child brings us God’s smile.”

One of the speakers, Elaine Riddick from North Carolina, speaking of the forced sterilization she endured, picked up the theme of every child being a vision of God’s smile and reminded us that if our government continues this attack on the preborn, we may not ever see God’s smile.

Ms Riddick, pregnant at a very young age, was sterilized without her knowledge following the birth of that baby who, now 37 years old, accompanied her to the Walk. Her Grandmother, unable to read, had signed a permission paper for medical care which included consent for sterilization.

Ms. Riddick also gave some startling statistics on the number of sterilizations performed on people of color and the economically deprived as late as 1974 in her state (2,099 of them performed on girls ages 19 and under) as well as in Virginia with a total of 11,000.

As usual in this too worldly city of San Francisco local as well as national media gave as much prominence to the scant 300 pro abort protesters huddled at Justin Hermann Plaza near the waterfront as they did to the 40,000 pro life witnesses joyously assembled at Civic Center/UN Plaza across from City Hall. The San Francisco Chronicle headlined its story as SF Abortion Rally shows 40 year split and provided 3 pro life photos and 6 pro abort photos in its online publication.

The real spirit of the pro life movement comes not so much from the speakers on the platform telling their grim stories of abandonment and pleas for forgiveness. The true spirit and message that life is the right choice comes from the audience; from the parents pushing baby carriages, the happy faces of children, teenagers, senior citizens and those in wheel chairs along with a very generous and inspiring presence of religious who attend the yearly event.

I spoke with some teenage boys in a group of 23 students who attended from a bible based church in East Palo Alto, Iglesia Pan de Vida (Bread of Life), and their pastor Reina Anguiano. This was their first time to attend and they seemed genuinely happy to be a part of the event. They were proudly holding a large sign supporting the right to life.

There were 150 teens from the Catholic Church of Sacred Heart/St. Benedict in Hollister. They came with their Pastor the Reverend Rudy Ruiz. These students attend a public school in Hollister which has a strong Planned Parenthood presence on the largely Latino campus.

One of the Sacred Heart CCD teachers also in attendance spoke with me about her efforts with the students to counteract the Planned Parenthood disinformation campaign.

Following the close of the formal part of the event the crowd moved, as one, to walk about 1.5 miles to the foot of Market St. and Justin Hermann Plaza which the pro aborts had earlier occupied.

One new element entered the Walk for Life’s usual upbeat but orderly parade down Market Street. A separate group creating a little nervousness amongst the walk for LIfe organizers, entitled Created Equal, obtained permission from authorities in San Francisco, quite surprisingly, to display a jumbotron 3 minute video loop of abortion. They put up their audio and video display at the corner of 5th and market right in front of the Gap store. They had also used their display the day previously in D.C. There was a person with a mike speaking to the rather responsive crowd of pro lifers passing by who could be heard to give occasional loud cheers.

A spokesman for the group declared that if there is going to be a demonstration for the Right to Life then the babies killed by abortion should have some representation at these events. The idea being that we are supposed to be marching to stop abortion, not make abortion an annual excuse for a Walk or a March. Let us also hope and pray that our 40 years of praying and working to end abortion will find favor with God and allow us to come out of the flood of death and onto the dry land of redemption.

©2013 Camille Giglio. All rights reserved.